Virtual museums to explore during the lockdown
Stuck at home? The weekend is just a few hours away… Many of the world’s most famous and best-loved institutions are now offering free virtual museum tours even as they remain open – for the time being, at least.
So, where are some of the best virtual tours of museums:
1. THE LOUVRE
The Louvre is not only one of the world’s largest art museums, but it’s also one of Paris’s most iconic historic monuments. The museum offers free online tours of some of its most important and popular exhibits, such as its Egyptian Antiquities and works from Michelangelo. You can take a 360-degree look at the museum, and click around the rare artefacts to get additional information on their histories. https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne#tabs
2. THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
Founded in 1937, the National Gallery of Art is free and open to the general public. For those who aren’t in Washington, D.C., it also provides virtual tours of its gallery and exhibits. You can view its current exhibitions and listen to audio and video recordings of past lectures online. https://www.nga.gov/
NASA offers free virtual tours of the Langley Research Center in Virginia, as well as of Ohio’s Glenn Research Center. The Space Center Houston also has an app that provides virtual tours, augmented reality experiences, and videos and audio stories about space exploration. https://www.nasa.gov/glennvirtualtours
4. THE GOOGLE ART PROJECT
To help its users discover and view important artworks online in high resolution and detail, Google partnered with more than 1200 cultural institutions from around the world to archive and document priceless pieces of art and to provide virtual tours of museums using Google Street View technology. You can choose a variety of interactive experiences, here: https://artsandculture.google.com/
5. VAN GOGH MUSEUM, AMESTERDAM
Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum – the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters. https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/van-gogh-museum?hl=en
6. VATICAN MUSEUMS
With no visitors around, the Vatican Museums created a variety of impressive virtual tours showcasing several areas around the grounds. Now, you can sit at home and contemplate these historic beauties with easy-to-navigate virtual tours that are also completely free of charge. https://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/tour-virtuali-elenco.html
7. STUDIO GHIBLI, MITAKA
This Japanese museum is devoted to the world-famous animation studio. Located in the city of Mitaka, close to Tokyo, the museum has gone down the route of producing video presentations of its collections. There are a total of five video tours that you can take. Each showcases a different aspect of the museum’s exhibits, some focussing on characters while others deal with landscapes from the studio’s imaginative movie scenes. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd1b2TUlpmDLU7YpPu889Lg
8. THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON
There are several virtual tours on offer from the Natural History Museum. Perhaps the most impressive is the Google Arts and Culture-powered blue whale tour. This makes use of augmented reality technology to give visitors a real sense of what life is like beneath the waves for these impressive creatures. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/virtual-museum.html
9. MUSEU CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN
Objects from Ancient Egypt, from the Middle East or works by artists like Rembrandt, Turner, Monet, Rodin or René Lalique are some of the highlights of one of the most important private collections of international art, amassed by Calouste Gulbenkian.
Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Almada Negreiros, Paula Rego and Vieira da Silva are some of the artists represented in the Modern Collection, which gathers one of the most complete collections of Portuguese modern and contemporary art, from the end of the 20th century to the present.
Explore the 360 virtual tour through the Founder’s Collection and Modern Collection galleries here: https://gulbenkian.pt/museu/en/collections/virtual-tour/
10. MUSEU NACIONAL DOS COCHES
The museum is housed in the Royal Riding Hall of Belém, the former home of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art. It is part of the larger Belém Palace complex, formerly a Royal Palace which is now the official residence of the President of Portugal. The Horse Riding Area was built after 1787 following the Neoclassical design of Italian architect Giacomo Azzolini. Several Portuguese artists decorated the interior of the building with paintings and tile (azulejo) panels. The inner arena is 50 m long and 17 m wide, and was used for training horses and for horse riding exhibitions and games, which could be watched from its balconies by the Portuguese royal family. Here is their link: https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=crADZwGeEXF
Let me know if there is any other you consider super nice and worth visiting.
I will be waiting for your feedback!